The Canada Primer

Been addicted to trips on two wheels since I did my first tour on my thrift store road bike back ~8 years ago. LA to San Diego was the ride and I have been doing it annually ever since. Since then I have done many other rides on my bike but miles are the enemy when touring on a bicycle. Not so with the motorbike. Did a Yosemite tour one year and the next we did Yellowstone. Well now it’s time to step it up and leave the country. Going south has always been a dream. Though the fear of my safety not brought upon myself but by my loved ones has deterred me. Temporarily.

The original plan was to ride to the Arctic Circle. Probably crate my bike to Anchorage, fly out there, assemble it and ride from there. Range is an issue with my SV650. With gaps involving 400+ miles without gas, I would hardly make it anywhere. Plus the dirt road to Prudhoe Bay is pretty gnarly and a street bike is really not tasked to do it well. So until I get a proper adventure bike, strict pavement/light dirt is what it will have to be.

Banff National Park is absolutely stunning from the pictures I have collectively seen. Simply put, that is my goal. See it and then get lost in Canada for a while. No real destination after that, just ride. I haven’t done a tour on my bike since fall of 2013 and luckily my buddy Dave hit me up three days before he was leaving to see if I wanted to ride with him. The plan was to see the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in Nevada. But with only 4 days to ride, the chance to take a proper tour would be limited. The final decision came to Joshua Tree National Park to Death Valley to Sequoia with the obvious start and end in LA.

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1st evening:

Chatsworth to Joshua Tree

Stayed in Cottonwood Campground on the far south end of the park.

 

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2nd Day:

Woke up, made breakfast and coffee then took off north and out of the park stopping at Jumbo rocks.

 

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Stopped in Twentynine Palms for gas, then took off for the Mohave National Preserve.

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Made tracks up to Death Valley before sundown to get a campsite. Stayed at Texas Springs campground and neighbored with some really cool people. One dude was named Bruce had been there for about 4 days already by himself. Just had a tent, his truck and a mountain bike. Retired from the construction industry, he needed one more adventure before getting put out for a knee surgery the week after. The other neighbors were a lot more interesting though. During a slightly heated political debate my friend and I typically have (this time about the necessity of government to fund ingenuity, in which I completely disagree with. The Prius our neighbors were driving being the center piece.), the wife butted in and commented on how she takes a carpool. We all agreed that carpooling is by far the best way to reduce impact. Later on the husband who’s name was Rusty, came over to check out our bikes. He told us of his adventures as a motorcyclist, his most memorable journey being the one from Tibet to Kathmandu on a KLR. He was one of a few that has been able to take a motorcycle into China and actually tour. His current bike is a BMW R80 GS with 180k miles! With a long range 9 gallon tank, he has done Prudhoe bay and beyond. He was the one that started “REI Adventures” in the 1980’s and has bridged off to start his own company for organizing trips.

 

Zabriskie Point

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On the way out of the valley, we stopped by Mesquite Dunes and Mosaic Canyon.

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On the way out to Olancha for lunch/dinner.

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Spent the night at the cabin after an almost confrontation with some Harley douches. Then jetted out the next day via the 155 and Granite Road to Oildale then back to LA.

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